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April 2, 2013

China-based SmarTots develops Facebook-like network for kids

The network allows children to share art projects online

By CBR Staff Writer

China-based startup SmarTots is building a private social network application, similar to Facebook, which allows children to share art projects online with parents or grandparents.

Founded by former Nokia engineer Jesper Lodahl, the venture is supported through funds from SoftBank’s Pan-Asia Fund, which is managed by SoftBank Ventures Korea.

Designed as a game centre for application developers, the firm is also adding functions to enable parents to ‘like’ or comment on art projects being shared by their kids in a layout similar to Facebook.

Lodahl commenced offering mobile education apps for kids aged between two and seven years through Apple’s China iTunes store in June 2012.

BDA China chairman Duncan Clark was cited by Bloomberg as saying people will pay a lot for educational tools and services. "There is a lot of spending power around educational betterment," Clark said.

The rising deployment of smartphones, tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices is anticipated to boost the demand for educational services and applications.

According to IDC’s report in March 2013, smartphone shipments in China are anticipated to more than double to 460 million units by 2017, in addition, the nation’s public spending on education had reached 4% of its GDP in 2012.

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